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Review: Out at Sea (Leroy Street Theatre)

April 18th, 2015

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Cast of Leroy Street Theatre production of Out at Sea

In Out at Sea on stage at Toronto’s Storefront Theatre, three women are stranded in a boat

It’s worth a trip to The Storefront Theatre to see Leroy Street Theatre‘s production of Out at Sea; everything about the production works. You have to go soon though, it closes on Sunday.

The play falls into the Theatre of the Absurd genre and was written by Slavomir Mrozek in Communist Poland in the early 1960s. The play is full of ‘lessons’ that are as relevant today as they were 55 years ago in Poland. The wonderful thing about Theatre of the Absurd is that no one beats you on the head with a stick. The play is very funny, the wordplay is brilliant. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Ubu and the Truth Commission (William Kentridge and Handspring Puppet Company)

April 17th, 2015

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ubuandthetruthcommision (2)

On stage at Toronto’s Berkeley Theatre, a man struggles with a condemning truth

In seeking justice for terrible acts, what do we expect from the people who are guilty? Is it remorse? Is it acknowledgement of their responsibility in the act? Ubu and the Truth Commission, playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre as part of Canadian Stage’s Spotlight South Africa festival, gives the stage to such a figure.

When the South African Truth Commission offers amnesty to those who committed atrocities during Apartheid in exchange for proof the acts were politically motivated and full disclosure of those acts, Ubu (Dawid Minnaar) tries to figure out whether he will admit his guilt and risk punishment or lie and risk getting caught. His struggle is complicated as his wife, Ma (Busi Zokufa), suspects Ubu’s nightly escapades are with another woman but her suspicions may lead her to the truth about her husband. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Me So You So Me (Out Innerspace Dance Theatre)

April 16th, 2015

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OIS (MSYSM2014) d

“Hallucinogenic” dance piece lights up the Harbourfront Centre stage in Toronto from April 15-18.

Someone I know was born this past weekend, and I’m told that when she was pulled from her mother’s body, the lights in the operating room were all shining very, very brightly. That’s what the world is like: when it isn’t dark, it blazes terribly.

That’s also what the opening of Me So You So Me, a beautiful piece of dance theatre by Vancouver’s Out Innerspace company, is like. Though technically a 60-minute duet, the dynamic between the two dancers is interrupted from the outset by a lively third element—the light.

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Review: The Art of Being Alone (Moose + Moa Theatre Company)

April 15th, 2015

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This one-man show is a “fine debut” for Moose + Moa, a new Toronto-based theatre company.

We all have to deal with loneliness at some point in our lives. For some it’s merely a road bump that we work through and move on from, but we’ve all known that crushing bout of isolation that leaves us curled up in bed listening to the same song over and over again in a twisted spiral of depression and romanticism.

In The Art of Being Alone, Moose + Moa Theatre Company explores this experience in a solid 50 minutes that’s equal parts poignant and hilarious.

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Review: Hatched (Mamela Nyamza/CanStage)

April 15th, 2015

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Hatched

Provocative dance piece has “audience members twisting in their seats” at the Berkeley in Toronto

In Hatched (playing as part of Spotlight South Africa), creator Mamela Nyamza confronts the audience. She hungers; she accuses; she explains; she spites; she learns; she rejects; she implores. Through dance, movement and brief moments of interaction, she explores her own story as a dancer, a mother and an African. She invites us to peer into her soul, just a little bit.

Now, fair warning: this is an uppercase-D Dance show. At one point, a dancer crosses the stage topless, en pointe, balancing a bucket on her head and strewing clothespins everywhere. If that description is making you queasy, you may want to avoid this one. But as someone who normally has trouble plugging into dance, I found I really warmed to Nyamza’s frank, honest, thoughtful and—occasionally—brutal performance. If you can get past the Dance label and connect with the performer, Hatched is a profoundly interesting and rewarding experience.

And if you’re already predisposed to enjoy dance and movement, well, you lucky duck: get yourself to the Berkeley, pronto.

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Review: Tassels and Tabletop (Nerd Girl Burlesque)

April 14th, 2015

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Enjoy burlesque on the stage, and then play boardgames every month in Toronto

Photo of Delicia Pastiche holding green fans
On the third Thursday of every month, Toronto is treated to the delightful combination of burlesque and boardgames with Tassels and Tabletop, presented by Nerd Girl Burlesque.

The night begins with a lively burlesque show, which is followed by a giant mountain of board games being brought out for the board game social. It takes place at The Handlebar in Kensington Market, where my show-partner Robin and I enjoyed some delicious food and cocktails while watching the show—if you’re going the cocktail route, I highly recommend the Paloma, as it was delicious.

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Review (Kid+1): Odysseo (Cavalia)

April 14th, 2015

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Cavalia’s “spectacular” equine fantasy show runs in Toronto until May 10th, 2015.

Cavalia’s Odysseo is all spectacle. It’s a giant expansive stage, and it needs to be—72 horses and 45 humans will perform on it over the course of the show. The humans include acrobats, aerialists on both silks and rings, a carousel that descends from the sky, and stunt riders.

In case that’s not enough for you, the landscape will change and ripple, go from spring to drought to icy winter, and show scenes from across the world. Near the end, rain actually floods the stage. For what it’s worth, the kid loved this show, and I have never, ever, seen him clap so enthusiastically.

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Toronto Play Listings for the Week of April 13, 2015

April 13th, 2015

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Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week

This week is an embarrassment of riches for theatre in Toronto. There’s so much to see so get out to the theatre! The shows I’ve indicated with two asterisks and red text are the ones I’d love to see this week. See if you agree or go check out anything else that speaks to you.

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Review: Orpheus and Eurydice (Opera Atelier)

April 12th, 2015

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orpheus

Opera’s “over-the-top sense of whimsy” shines at The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto!

In classical Greek mythology, the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of courage, self-doubt, loss and mortality. Opera Atelier’s 2015 production of the Hector Berlioz version of Christophe Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice offers a fresh and playful take on this timeless tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye: The Farewell Tour (Mirvish)

April 10th, 2015

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Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye - The Farewell Tour | Mirvish | Review

“Run, Jump, Loot and Pillage” to see Dame Edna in Toronto — while you can!

It’s 8:15 and Dame Edna is mowing down the crowd more effortlessly than even the burliest lumberjack chops down a tree.

Lovingly crowned ‘The Grande Dame of Drag’ by her many fans, this Mauve-haired maven lives up to her noble moniker – claiming her rightful place amongst the world’s comedic royalty with her signature sharp tongue and unapologetic repartee.

Dame Edna Everage, the most notable of Barry Humphries‘ onstage personas, performed to a packed house of eager spectators Thursday, on the opening night of her 10-day run at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre – the only Canadian stop on her farewell tour.

Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye: The Farewell Tour is the triumphant culmination of her career, spanning more than six decades.

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